On Dealing with Rejection as an Artist

When I began this journey I promised myself that I would keep my rejection letters, frame them, and use them as inspiration. Brave words, but I meant them, and I still do. Of course it’s rough when you get several rejection scenarios in a row, or weren’t accepted into a show you got into last year, or someone made a nasty comment-it can leave you reeling. How do you cope with that? How do you soldier on? I don’t have a fancy 10-step program for you, but I do have my personal formula for dealing with those letters and comments.

Becca’s Formula for Dealing with Rejection

  1. Be glad you got a notice or letter. Frequently artistic types don’t get one. Bonus points if they told you -why- your work wasn’t accepted. Later on down the line you can use that.
  2. Allow yourself to be mad. Or sad. I usually get mad-how could they not see my brilliance? The nuance of the piece? I shall crush you! And so on and so forth. Best not to say any of these things out loud, keep them to yourself.
  3. Go to the interwebs. Google “how to deal with rejection letters as an artist”-you’ll find some good stuff and you’ll also find solace as you realize just how many amazing artists have gotten rejection letters. You’ll start to feel better about yourself-after all, some of the greats were never accepted in their lifetimes.
  4. If you got a “why”, think about it. Only you can know whether or not their criticism is something you’ll pay attention to (art is simply too subjective to take everyone seriously). If it is, this is a growing moment. If not, hopefully now you’re calm enough that you can let it go.
  5. Go create something. The world needs your vision.


And so, my friends, art on. Remember-this is an iceberg we are creating. Someday people will look at what we have done, and they will see only the tip of it-but that tip is only possible if we create the rest.




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